From the departure lounge…

Hi Bloggers,

It’s Sunday morning. I’m at Saskatoon airport waiting for a flight to Toronto. The incoming flight is delayed.

I just turned to look at the jet bridge. There is a barn owl on the top of the structure. It is perched on a beacon. It is so still it looks like it could be a decoy or a small statue, but I think it’s real. I look across to the other jet bridges just to see if maybe XYE have initiated some sort of owl-statue bird deterrent thing, but I see no others….

Is that like some sort of um, what’s the word – the thing with hidden meaning, like an albatross seen at sea. (It will come to me momentarily *** it came to me – omen, that’s the word!). I wonder if pilots have a superstition about owls and things.

So I said goodbye to Jack Black, our black lab. He’s such a sweet dog. We got him about 2 years ago. He’s more the ex’s dog that he is mine. I’ve inherited Sally D, our chocolate lab. She’s a lot higher energy and more inclined to steal food from benchtops etc. Jack is going on his own flight Tuesday, and I will not see him on my return. Safe travels you gorgeous handsome dog. He’s leaving Canada for Australia. IMG_6865

I don’t know if I will be able to keep Sally D. She’s a real sweetheart and I don’t want to let her go. The reality is that I don’t know where I will be living in one month, or six months or whatever from now. Finding accommodation that will suit my budget, location to work and pet friendly is very challenging.

 

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Bye Jack, you adorable little man-dog. 

 

Meanwhile, I’m going to somewhere that I have never been – eastern Canada – the Atlantic provinces. That’s exciting, right? It’s a quick trip but still, there is a lot of value in seeing new places…..

 

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Sally on left, Jack Black on the right. 

 

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F it, it’s Friday!

One of those rare occasions that I don’t have much to say – so we’ll see where this goes I guess. It’s only a few short days until the T bird takes off and leaves this continent (this planet, this universe?) forever. How am I feeling? Kind of relieved, a bit melancholy I suppose. Without doubt, the biggest kicker is my kids leaving. They don’t seem concerned at all.

In fact, they are quite dismissive to me, when I try to engage them. My son, he’s ok. We talk sometimes. I still get a good sense of animosity from him; but its fleeting. He can be downright dismissive, but in a later moment we can be talking together – which normally consists of him shooting rapid fire questions about all sorts of random shit: ‘does your intestines know what sort of food you like to eat? Did you know that the Ebola virus is a new epidemic? Sometimes I cant feel my fingers, is this normal? etc. ok questions are hypothetical and generic but you get the gist… 

Disclaimer: As challenging and stressful as all of this has been, I would not change anything. I’m not complaining, just sharing. It was a journey that I really needed to experience.

 

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Somewhere on the border between BC and Alberta. That’s the start of the Rocky Mountains, folks. 

 

Has anyone noticed the tree tattoo trend thing that seems to be going around? I just saw a girl with one on the back of her neck, and a guy at work got one on his forearm. I don’t know if its a Saskatchewan thing or a bit broader than that.

I got a new book from the library – actually I got a bunch of new books from the library. The one I’m about to inhale is called ‘How to be a great boss.’ I figure reading that can’t hurt, based on some of the feedback I’ve got over the past months.

So how do I feel? Actually pretty good. I’m ready to move forward. I just don’t know what I am moving forward into, and guess what? I don’t mind that at all.

So, what have I learned? It might be a good moment for some reflection and sharing. So, here goes, here’s my recommended list of take away’s:

  1. Be yourself. For fuck’s sake, be yourself. If you are gay, straight, a total prude or wild thang, religious zealot or worshipper of the devil, just do what you need to do. Allow others to accept you or not.
  2. Respect others.
  3. While being yourself, don’t be completely blind to the effect you have on others. Be considerate! This is the fine balance that I have eluded to before. How do you strike that balance? IDK. But you have to find the balance. The net results of not getting the balance right leads to divorce, loss of job, alienation, and a whole bunch of shit that can make life difficult. The challenge here, in my humble opinion is to come to terms with yourself, exercise discretion where prudent and be ready for some tough conversations where you are not prepared to yield. 
  4. Exercise discretion in the workplace. Realise that even though you may feel like an open book with ‘nothing to hide,’ realise that your shit is freaking people out. There is a fairly narrow band of what is acceptable to people in society. This band narrows considerably in the workplace. It also narrows with your position. Especially if you are a leader. There is an unwritten code for expected behaviour. Know that in the workplace, it is always better to err on the side of caution. Keep it professional. Develop networks outside work to air your laundry and find a shoulder to cry on (or arse to grab if that is your thing – disclaimer, I do NOT grab arse in the workplace, period).
  5. Take chances, and don’t let fear rule your decisions. This too, needs a balanced approach. Reckless choices lead to bad outcomes. Don’t be completely stupid. Have fun and keep your wits about you. Some of my best experiences have been had while taking a chance and getting out of my comfort zone.
  6. Travel as much as you can. There is no teacher like travel. I’ve moved a bunch and the way I’ve seen it is something like ‘there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet.’
  7. Yoga, and meditation. Just meditation if yoga is not your thing. I can’t emphasise enough the benefits of meditation.
  8. Exercise. This is not a recent development for me, but I can’t make a list without exercise in it ;).
  9. Eat well. healthy food. Lots of vegies. Contributes to overall wellness.
  10. Get a good amount of sleep.

 

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I took this picture of a buck outside someone’s house. Kinda random but cool eh?

 

 

 

Gettin’ on!

Hi Bloggers.

It’s turned ‘wintery’ here. Walking around outside at work today I thought I was going to freeze my face off. First day of wearing long johns under the work trousers. Normally its got to be about -20C before I will go to such lengths. In the still air its not to bad, but anywhere a breeze or wind is blowing the cold factor increases by a fair bit. I really feel for the guys and gals that work outdoors all day. It takes a special kind of energy and focus to tough out cold weather all day.

 

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Canada has a new $10 bank note. Looking good there foundation fathers/mother!

 

Recently I went to one of those Canadian mega chain cafe’s. Jim Shorton’s (or something). I had the chicken club sandwhich. I did get the combo with wedges. I waited patiently or at least I hacked into my club sandwhich expecting my wedges to be brought over, as if they were late coming from the cooker or something. I got up and approached the counter. I was in complete first world despair when the young lady told me that I got a shot of vanilla flavour in my latte, and that some how negated the value of the wedges. I disagree. I think that f’ked the tasted of the coffee, and I didn’t get my wedges! Damn.

I went to this other coffee mega chain – Sharkbucks or something. I got the salted caramel frappachia or something. A warning readers. It’s horrible. I’m down with frappe and good with caramel, but putting a bunch of salt in a sweet drink. Urrggh. It was disgusting!

At this point I realise I’m sounding like a whiny bitch so it’s time to change gears….

 

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Chicken club at Jim Shortons. It was actually quite spicy, which I like 😉

 

Ok, so what’s been going on for me? I’m getting on! Life has its ups and downs. I feel much more balanced, and content. There are moments when I fear the future, where I have apprehension, concerns, etc. I’ve certainly made some changes – for the better I would suggest. I’ve let go of a lot of fears – that feels pretty good.

 

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Ok, have to brush the snow back before I open the door and get the brush handled scraper thing out. Only need to do this for the next six months! 

 

Of course, I’ve been working out. I got a work out in today before work. The picture below is from the weekendIMG_6527. I also watched a documentary – Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. It’s about an Australian bloke who goes on a 60 day juice fast. Yeh, doesn’t sound very interesting but the guy is highly entertaining, and inspiring. I recommend that you watch it. It has even inspired me to include more fresh fruit and veggies in my diet. I have what I would consider a fairly balanced diet. I eat some junk but typically get plenty of fresh or frozen veggies in too.

Anyway readers, hugs, and Namaste.

 

Comes a Time…..

Hi Bloggers, as you might know, I’ve been reading Neil Young’s autobiography. Comes a Time has always been a favourite of mine. I don’t know what it is exactly, it has a nice mix of sincerity, nostalgia and reflection. A kind of honesty.

There comes a time for all of us. My ex – the T Bird came to tell me they will be here for only another 37 days. I’m trying my hardest to be present as a dad to my kids. A lot of  damage has been done. A lot of animosity has developed based on the situation between their mum and I. IMG_6494 (2)

I’ve spent the last year or so in a sort of holding pattern, knowing that the situation has been destined to be not-sustainable, and having many uncertainties in my life – work, domestic and external. Stuck yet unable to move due to financial constraints, or obligations etc.

I’ve spent a lot of that time looking inward. An examination of myself, if you will. I think this is healthy, to a point. Too much introspection can lead to self doubt and hesitation. I’ve put aside some passions. Making music, song writing, etc. All the while, just hanging on to a thread of whatever it is that keeps us going.

I want to be clear about one thing – I am not complaining, I am not bitter. The journey has been extremely challenging on many levels. At the same time, I have come through this still feeling for the most part like I am being true to myself. I’ve made changes. I’ve learned from some mistakes.

 

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So I went to gym today. I am doing my light workout – generally more reps and less weight. I did over head press, power cleans, lunges, hi step ups, and chainsaws.

 

Have a good weekend WP readers.

 

Namaste.

 

 

The leap of faith….

Hi Bloggers.

Life is changing for me. This represents risk, and opportunity. I will admit that I am a bit apprehensive. This might not end well.

But then again, it might work out awesome!

Sometimes you have to follow your instincts. Yes, there will be scrapes and bruises. My ego has been and will be further tested. Finances will be strained. Some time ago, my ex and I had made a life changing decision, to separate. The only thing being, we haven’t separated yet. Not entirely anyway. We still live in the same house. We are still pretty much full time parents to our children. We still eat from the same fridge.

There was a time when I was terrified of the possible ramifications of major change. I clung to normality and routine. It was comfortable, but it was not inspiring. I’m not complaining about my past or current situation, it is what it is.

Sometimes, you gotta make a change.

 

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Current situation…. 

 

 

 

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I prefer to perform to a crowd… 

 

 

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Those speedos won’t protect you from a scrape on those rocks. 

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Saturday’s workout and other ramblings. SO much to be thankful for!

Sat 9 Sep 2017
Ahhh Bhudda, I hardly know your philosophies, yet at the same time I get it, like in an ignorant westerner looking for spirituality kind of way……

 Hi Bloggers,

Today was leg day. I wore my new long tights I bought on line, so that was a bit of fun. Here’s my workout: Following the general Arnie written split workout deal…. loosely following.

  • Squats: 6 sets of 15, 10, 8, 6, 4, 4.
  • Leg extensions, 5 sets of 10 reps.
  • Leg curls, 6 sets of 15, 10, 8, 8, 6.
  • Sit ups 3 sets of 25, 15, 10.
  • Calf raises, 3 sets of 10.
  • Straight leg deadlift, 3 sets of 10.

It was a good work out.

Sat 9 Sep 2017 2 (2)
Yes, I do like these new tights!

Sat 9 Sep 2017 (2)

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My daughter hugged me!

It’s her 12th birthday tomorrow. I woke her this morning to ask what she wanted for her birthday. I was kind of surprised, she didn’t even yell at me! So that’s the plan here today, I will be taking her shopping and get something that she would like. One small step for fatherhood, one giant leap for this dad!

I was also reflecting on the past few months. I had a chat with the ex – with kids being noisy in the background, but a chat all the same. Sometimes its good to talk. A few months ago I was really not doing too good. I was struggling a bit. Ok, a lot perhaps. Strangely, within myself I felt pretty good but all around me there was chaos and upset….

All self caused, and I’m ok with that too. Major changes are tough – especially on those around you. I’ve had to modify a few things in my life and I’ve had some learnings about what works and what causes upset. I don’t have any regrets. None. Its just a matter of living and learning and finding your true path.

Me Sat Sep 9 2017
If you see this guy, buy him a coffee, he probably has some stories to tell! Or, maybe let me buy you a coffee. As long as I can blog on your story! 😉

So its probably worth a quick list of the things I am thankful for:

  • I am loved.
  • I have two wonderful healthy children.
  • I have an ex who cares about me.
  • I have a job. It pays well.
  • I have a new boss, and so far the arrangement is very decent.
  • I have my health.
  • I enjoy keeping fit and working out.
  • I have family that cares for me (even if I disappoint sometimes!)
  • I have eyesight.
  • I have mental faculties that allow me to express myself, to write, to draw, to play music, to dance!
  • I have a car, that runs, and its cheap on petrol!
  • I have two wonderful dogs in my life.
  • I could probably keep going but I hear people dry retching so I will quit now!

WordPress readers and bloggers, you get a hug! Namaste.

 

Life is a Balancing Act

Hi Bloggers,

Life is a balancing act. We are constantly and often intuitively adjusting to the variables – maybe its the slope of the pavement, maybe its going around a corner on a bicycle, or deciding how much to spend on ourselves or our loved ones when buying a gift or having  a night out.

Balance also applies to personal freedoms. As with everything, there are balance issues to consider. How do you express yourself with the amount of freedom or experience you desire, while being considerate of the feelings of those who care about you? Even within yourself, there is balance to consider. How much to drink on a night out? Too much and you end up in gutter, too little and you maybe don’t get the buzz you are looking for. I’ve fucked that one up plenty of times.

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From Pinterest

 

What if you don’t even know what your limits of acceptable experience are, because you are still finding your way in life, or your situation has changed? Sometimes you might over commit, sometimes you haven’t found your balance and invariably, you will leave people feeling disappointed, or perhaps find yourself regretting your actions or motivations.

There’s no magic answers here, sometimes its just down to life experience, going with the flow, and knowing when to say yes, and when to say no, even to yourself.

 

 

 

Musings from a Saskatoon Café…. Changes…

Hi Bloggers,

I had a day off yesterday. I went gym, worked out (overhead press, power cleans, one hand dumbbell rows, lunges, high step ups… good workout 😉 ). I had some downtime in the afternoon. It was a warm day. Full sunshine, very little breeze. No bugs. It was approaching perfect, in the shade.

I had a problem with my bike back wheel hub, so I packed that in the car and drove down to a back street near Broadway. I took the wheel into the shop, and an enthusiastic bike repair guy took my wheel and after putting the special tool into the vice, he cranked the wheel by hand a couple of times, and tightened the nut that keeps the sprocket cassette in one piece. Awesome, job done, I can enjoy my bike again. I asked him ‘what’s the damage’ and he replied, ‘no charge’ (thank you again Bike Doctor!).

So I put the bike wheel back in my car boot, and walked on down (as in the Door’s song – but not walked on down the hall – The End…) to the main part of Broadway. In the summer the city really comes alive. There are hipsters, and bearded guys, lgbt folks, families, immigrants, couples, and all types walking the streets. Its a real parade of people.

The city allows cafes and restaurants to extend their outdoor spaces into the parking lane which makes for a nice outdoors area for the several months a year that this climate allows. Its a real treat. I walked into Museo Café and ordered a latte, and a lime cheesecake slice. I took a spot outside, in the shade. Cars drive by in the lane right next to where I was sitting and it was a little disconcerting because you want to glance up each time a bus or truck or car comes by. I thought maybe facing away from the traffic might have been a better strategy.

saskatoon cafe 15 Jul 2017 2

The lime cheesecake was divine. I brought my books with me. I flipped through my borrowed copy of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.’ I’m so inspired by this book I bought my boss a copy as his going away gift. I sure hope he reads it and applies some of the many simple lessons in loving-kindness and inner peace.

So I am going through some changes. We are all going through changes. Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant. One of the simple anecdotal lessons or whatever is the in the book. It says there is a Buddhist teaching (apologising to any Buddhist practitioners that I might offend by my interpretation) … it says that everything comes from something, it is made or formed, and it will return to nothing in time. For instance, a glass may be a glass now, but at some time it was sand or whatever, and in the future it will return to shattered glass, dust or maybe even be recycled to something else. The point is that everything will break, degrade and return to some other state.

We are all temporary, all our belongings are temporary, nothing is absolutely permanent. This provides us with a way of coming to terms with the changes in our lives. I copied the lyrics to David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ because I think that might sum up the situation pretty good right now.

I am grateful for those who have helped me, and continue to help me in my journey. I am remorseful for any harm I have done in any of my actions. I have some work to do as an individual, I am not yet fully developed in some aspects of life.

Hugs to all. Hands to heart centre. The light in me honours the light in you. Namaste.

saskatoon cafe 15 Jul 2017

Source MetroLyrics http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/davidbowie/changes.html

“Changes” David Bowie

I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace
I’m going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time

Changing the channel….

Hi Bloggers,

So I’m changing things up. Its been a fairly interesting time with the changing situation in my domestic life. It’s just not working. I don’t need to get into details or disrespect anyone, I just need to say that my life is changing, and I’m ok with it.

There’s a ton of stuff to work through, but it will all happen in good time. Meanwhile, I am very grateful for the people who have emerged in my life in a challenging time to be there to support me, to listen, and to provide some good feedback.

This week, I’m going camping. A chance to get away from all the stuff that is going on, and to just chill. When I get back, I will be moving to another place to live. Probably a house share deal or something like that. My immediate family will be heading back to Australia in December. I will miss my kids, and I hope things work out well for my wife.

I’ll probably be out of the loop for a week or so, unless I can find a terminal or laptop or something.

And, don’t worry, I feel great!

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Source Flickr